The rain fell softly in the distance.

Every drop created a melody that enchanted her mind into oblivion.

Rainy days were the best days, she thought. The drops danced off of the cobblestones as she sat at Baylon, reading Factotum by Charles Bukowski.

She looked at the cobblestones. Then back at the book. There was a lifespan of differences between the world outside, and the world of Bukowski.

The girl thought about her future—the vast openness of it both empowered and terrified her. She thought about Petrarch and how life would be so simple if defined in iambic pentameters, she wondered about Machiavelli and how life would be so entertaining if underlined by satire.

She took one last sip of her cappuccino, and got up. Deciding that today, Bukowski could take a backseat to Rome.

She walked down Via di S. Francesco a Ripa.

Sometimes she forgot how beautiful the city was.

Today was not one of those days.

The rain was stopping. The sun was rising off in the distance. The aura of fresh cones and coffee wafted around her.

That was the thing about Rome—movement wasn’t valued over a single moment. The city echoed a past that the people could not. The girl lived for the stories the city could tell her, as well as those that were left unspoken.

Rome wasn’t just one story. One past. One history. It was strewn together the way our blood pumped through our veins. Each cobblestone a diastole and systole meshing into the heart of Rome.

She thought about all the authors and artists that had once lived here. She realised that none of them could be her future because all that had been said and done, painted and written and now she stood in front of the open street; an empty canvas waiting to come to life with the stroke of her future.

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